Moneris Solutions Corporation, Canada's largest debit and credit card processor providing stored-value gift card and loyalty programs, announced that its gift and loyalty program for medium to large businesses is now compatible with Apple's Passbook application. With this new offering, merchants can provide cardholders with the ability to digitize their physical gift or loyalty cards into the Passbook application, marking a significant move towards a more convenient experience for cardholders.

"One of Passbook's biggest challenges to date has been the slow uptake in point-of-sale (POS) acceptance by merchants," says Jeff Guthrie, chief sales and marketing officer at Moneris. "Through our gift and loyalty program offering, coupled with our innovative POS solutions and strong relationships with merchants, we can implement Passbook's end-to-end experience on a much broader scale, providing merchants and consumers alike with the convenience of virtual gift and loyalty programs."

The Passbook application, which is pre-loaded onto all Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices using iOS 6 or 7, allows users to virtually store such content as airline boarding passes, coupons, and loyalty and gift cards, decreasing the number of physical documents and cards typically held in a wallet or purse. To use the Passbook gift or loyalty card, a user simply opens the mobile application at a participating merchant's point-of-sale, who then keys in or scans the card number. The card account balance updates instantly on Passbook, eliminating the need to check balances on receipts or through an online portal.

"Virtual wallets are becoming increasingly popular," Guthrie says. "In fact, a 2012 Affinion Loyalty group study has found that 61 percent of consumers prefer virtual over physical cards. In an increasingly digital marketplace, Moneris is proud to offer merchants and consumers an enhanced transaction experience with innovative, convenient, and secure solutions, such as the new Passbook service for our gift and loyalty programs."

Last month, Moneris launched a pilot Passbook service for Kernels Popcorn's gift loyalty card program in over 70 locations across Canada, which was well received by its customers.

"Kernels Popcorn is proud of its participation in this innovative program in Canada," says Penny Daniels, CFO of Kernels Popcorn. "We are seeing customers adopt the service to virtualize their loyalty and gift cards to Passbook. In this ever increasing mobile environment, this program is a valuable tool for the customer to keep their popcorn at their fingertips!"